By Ijeoma Madueke
The January Effect in finance is the seasonal rally of stock prices upwards during the month of January. This is typically attributed to the after-effect of stock sell-off in December when the investors look to realize capital gains.
Alright, finance jargon aside, the January Effect I am addressing is the tendency to be extremely broke in January following over-spending during the Christmas holiday season.
Sound familiar? The inherent tendency to spend in the holly season on things you need and/or want for yourself, family and friends is the cause of plenty-a-tough times for merry makers across the globe.
In your walk to financial freedom, a healthy spoonful of reality is needed. Christmas is a time to be merry but remember, it is really just one day! Is this one day enough to ruin the next few months of your year? Here are a few quick antidotes for the January Effect:
Start Saving Early
It is a little too late for this now but if you have not already – you have a couple of paychecks to stock up for the holiday season. The expenses tend to tumble in, so you have to be armed and ready to pay up.
Christmas lights and trees are popping up everywhere – so before everyone remembers it’s almost Christmas, run over to the stores and clear your own shelves. Stock up only the non-perishables of course.
Make A List and Check It Twice
Super tempting as it may be, you cannot and should not buy gifts for every special person in your life. You are not Santa Claus after all and he too checks his list for who is naughty and who is nice. So comb through and scale down on gifts for a few special people; but for other loved ones – a card may just have to suffice.
Wait a minute! Do not run off and burn you house down baking some Christmas cake if it is not your thing. Start small on the things you can get done by yourself – like your hampers. You see all those ready-made hampers that line the aisles? Run from them! Those tempting goodies are typically over-priced and far from personalized. Put your own things together as it will be cheaper and more thoughtful.
Embrace the Potluck
So I understand that you have a large heart and would like to feed all your guests this merry season. However, you need to check if you’ve got it to spare. One strategy of hosting a wholesome party is having everyone bringing something to the table. You can focus on the Christmas Turkey and main dishes while your guests can stroll in with other goodies. To make it more palatable, here’s an idea – make it a cook-off competition. Everyone loves a good competition.
Book Your Tickets Early
Last and definitely not the least. If you plan to head out of town – buy your tickets now! Avoid the Christmas rush and expected inflated prices.
Try to do these simple things so that when January comes and you have got some extra cash in your pocket or purse, you will look back and smile. Thank me later!
Prudent Tip of the Week: Do Not Be Merry With Your Money!
Author: Ijeoma Madueke
Ijeoma Madueke is an Investment Banker with a passion for empowerment, self-expression and all things creative. She is co-founder of We Two Network, an organization that celebrates, encourages and empowers women to realize their potential and achieve their personal and professional goals. Ijeoma is enthusiastic about sharing tips on personal finance, accountability and personal development. She believes that the best life is one lived by design and not by chance.